- Taking time to assess the current state of your business yields useful and actionable insights.
- Reviewing a range of options to meet your staffing needs, including outsourcing, can help you succeed in today’s tight job market.
- Culture is critical. Current and potential employees are attracted to companies with a strong culture and values.
- Updated technology infrastructure can boost efficiency and provide transparency into operations, finance, staffing, and other areas.
Ready to uncover opportunities?
The COVID-19 pandemic has rattled many organizations but with the right approach, you can turn challenges into opportunity. Taking a fresh look can help you adapt, grow, and improve your financial health. You’ll gain valuable insights and data to set goals and create an action plan.
Focus on three areas ― planning, people, and infrastructure ― to find a new way forward that can help you thrive now and in the face of new disruptions.
Prioritize planning to drive future success
After nearly 18 months of upheaval, it’s understandable that many organizations haven’t had time to update their strategic plan. Others may not have had a plan to begin with. A thorough analysis of people, processes, and systems can identify areas of strength and areas for improvement. The first step in planning is to get a clear sense of where you are, your growth objectives, and how to meet them.
You may find some unexpected opportunities. For example, some manufacturing businesses had to establish new supply chains, particularly in the pandemic’s early days. Could working with a different supplier be an opportunity to offer a new product or expand your geographic footprint? Whatever line of work you’re in, take the opportunity to assess what you want to achieve in the next year, five years, and 10 years.
- Start with a 360-degree view to assess talent and staffing needs, capital expenditures, and technology infrastructure.
- If you’re already feeling stretched and don’t have the resources for a full organizational assessment, consider an outside consultant. A consultant can not only diagnose issues but can also provide new approaches to address those issues.
Don’t let a planning opportunity go to waste. Now is the time to position your company for success.
Staff up with the right person for each job
Over the past year and a half, many employees have stayed put. However, now, data shows more than half of employees plan to look for a new job in 2021 and employers are expecting a wave of retirements, according to the Achievers Workforce Institute. For employers, hiring is more challenging than ever.
A people strategy should go hand-in-hand with your overall business strategy. Introducing new products may require a larger marketing staff, while a hybrid work model requires better cybersecurity technology and practices.
In this environment, you may want to consider outsourcing part of your workforce, particularly for jobs in in-demand fields like technology, accounting, finance, and engineering. While many look at outsourcing primarily as a way to shave costs, it can be much more, including a boost to efficiency and access to key insights.
- Do you need new resources but only for a fixed time?
- Does your current team lack essential knowledge but you’re trying to limit full-time hires?
Putting skilled people into those positions in a way that makes financial and operational sense gives you more control and the flexibility you need for the future.
To retain current employees and engage new ones, build an appealing culture. Mission and values matter. It’s not uncommon to hear culture is more important than salary when it comes to job satisfaction, particularly with younger workers.
A big part of that culture is whether employees feel valued. Let your people know that their hard work and diligence through a very trying time has not gone unnoticed. Show that you are invested in your employees’ professional development. Mastering the four pillars of culture — care, commitment, respect, and communication — goes a long way in attracting and retaining employees.
Update and streamline your technology infrastructure
Staying ahead of fast-changing technology can be difficult, but it is essential. Many organizations suffer with legacy systems that are slow, inefficient, and fragmented. Think of technology as a competitive advantage. Efficient, cloud-based technology can make employees more productive, drive profitability, and provide better channels to communicate with clients and customers.
How you update your technology will depend on your unique needs. It doesn’t always have to be a major undertaking. For some, it may be as simple as converting QuickBooks desktop to a cloud-based version that can be integrated with other platforms. For others, it may require a substantial overhaul.
Automation can offer big rewards. For example, a single automation system can allow your organization to capture all project data, including budgets, time tracking, customer invoices and expenses, in one place. With this data, you can run efficiently and tally revenue on a real-time basis. Other systems can track a company’s full financial profile, which helps with everything from setting revenue targets to taxes.
Protecting that technology, including the software your employees are using to work from home, is critical. Hackers, or threat actors, are constantly on the move, using AI and other tactics to hone their attacks. Anti-virus software, employee education, strong passwords, a two-factor identification system, and regular system scans are just some of the techniques available.
Although the United States appears to be emerging slowly from the worst of the pandemic, the business environment remains unsettled. While this is certainly a challenge, it is also an opportunity to examine every aspect of your organization to check that you have a long-term plan in place, the right people are in the right jobs, and your technology infrastructure is adding value and reducing risk. Being proactive is critical to build your organization’s health to thrive now and in the years ahead.
How we can help
At CLA, we understand that you are facing new challenges in an environment that’s still unsettled. Our goal is to understand your business and growth objectives, then help you develop and execute on a plan. Working across our organization, we offer an integrated approach to bring about positive and lasting change and help you drive success.